Tragedy by Breeha Saeed, 2nd year MBBS

Friday, April 01, 2016 KELS 0 Comments Category :

Harris stumbled as he entered his house at night. His could not maintain an even gait. As he staggered through his living room, he banged against the sofa and fell with his nose hitting the floor. It started to bleed profusely.
“Damn!” shouted Hassan.
He tried to get up but all in vain. His face lay against the floor in the pool of his blood. Soon he passed out.

“Harris! Get up.”
Harris felt someone’s hands supporting him upright. His head weighed a thousand tons. Harris tried to open his eyes. As he did so, it took a few minutes for him to gain a clear vision and to realize what was going on. Ali rested Harris’ arm against his shoulder and made him sit on the sofa. He sat next to him.
“You have been drinking again. Have u not?” asked Ali.
“What if I am? It is none of your business.” replied Harris caressing his head which was aching badly.
Ali took a deep breath, made his voice gentle and said,
“Of course it is my business, you are my one and only brother and I don’t want to lose you. Look what have you done to yourself. Your face is full of blood. I want you to see a psychologist”
“Leave me alone!”
“Harris I know life has been unkind to you, I can understand.”
“NO YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND YOU WILL EVER! You have not lived the pain. You have not endured it. It is killing me.”
Harris tried to stand up but Ali held his arm and made him sit.
“Harris I know you are grieved. It was indeed a big tragedy but you have your whole life ahead. You have got to stop drinking and start a normal life. I beg you!”
Harris gave an agonizing gaze to Ali with his red swollen eyes.
“Please leave me alone. I need some time.”
Ali left with a heavy heart. It was not easy to see your once courageous and confident younger brother to be torn like that.

Harris was standing by the sink. He opened the tap, looked into the mirror and saw his bloody face. At that moment he was unable to recognize himself. How much handsome he used to be, how much presentable. That moment took him four years back. It was the unfortunate day that changed everything. He was right there in his office. His name plate read SP Harris Khan.
“Sir SSP sahib is here.”
“Okay. Bring tea and don’t forget snacks.” replied Harris.
SSP Jawed Asher entered the office.
Harris stood up, gave him salute. SSP gestured him to sit.
“SP Harris I am here to ask a favor. I hope you won’t disappoint me.”
“Sure Sir.”
“Harris you are one of our best. The police force is honored to have such a valiant and brave officer at its service. You have not served that long yet your honesty is unquestionable.”
“Thank you Sir! It is in fact my duty I am not doing anything unordinary.”
“Harris can I ask why have you arrested Sir DIG’s son?”
“Sir he shot his class fellow who lost his life. My men were there at the spot.”
“What is the initial investigation?”
“Sir initially the suspect Arif and the victim Abdullah were captains of basketball teams. Arif lost to Abdullah’s team. Both had a fight in the university. In the evening Arif chased Abdullah and shot him in the head. Victim died on the spot. My men were there. We also have two other witnesses apart from my men.”
“Harris I have always considered you my younger brother. It is in the interest of both of us that you lead the investigation in such a way which results in proving Sir DIG’s son innocent. Ask your men to take back their statements. The other two witnesses are taken care of.”
Harris couldn’t believe his ears. His face flushed. He was shocked.
“Sir we….” Harris stabilized himself. “Sir we have enough evidence”
“This is not about evidence damn it!”SSP interrupted him. “Sir DIG is so angry on you that you can’t even imagine. I have promised him that I will talk to you and that you will do something about it.”
Harris’ blood began to boil. He was surprised in a negative way.
“I am sorry Sir! I cannot help you in this matter. Sir DIG is respectable to me but law is law. I will run the investigation in a transparent way. I can be anything but not unjust and dishonest.”
“SP you got to understand this is not how things work. I want your well being.”
Peon entered with tea kettle and biscuits. He served tea.
“Sir I have given you my answer. I will not pressurize my men to distort the facts.”
SSP gave a look of disapproval.
“Harris Khan! You yourself will be responsible for consequences.”
“Sir both of us has a son. God forbid if something like Abdullah happened to them what will we do.”
SSP Jawed Asher stood and left.
Next day brought a shock. SP Harris Khan was suspended.
“How can they do this to me? I was just sticking to the law.” said Harris walking briskly here and there.
“It’s only suspension relax Harris! They will restore you soon. ” Ali tried to calm him down.
“Just suspension? Do you have any idea what it will do to my career? Besides how can they even think that this tactic of theirs can stop me? I will not remain quiet. I will not let that murderer roam freely.”
“Please don’t do anything stupid. You have a family to think of.”
Mohammad entered the room and ran towards Ali.
“Uncle Ali!”
Ali lifted him.
Sara (Harris’ wife) came with a cup of coffee.
“How are you taking it Sara?” asked Ali
“As long as we are together” she held Harris’ hand “I am good.”
Harris smiled.
Harris was standing in front of the mirror looking closely but in reality lost in his thought. The scene changed and now he was sitting in DIG’s drawing room.
“How dare you contact media? Are you in your senses?”asked DIG.
“Actually I tried to tell IG regarding it but he was on your side. I had no choice left but to contact media.”
“You don’t care about your job. Do you?”
“Actually what I care about is the truth. I have given some precious years of my life to police force. I cannot let it go in vain.”
“I am doing it for my son. Sometimes children make you do the things you have never imagined.”
“Your son is a murderer. He is not different than any criminal.”
DIG smiled.
“Here is what you are going to do. You are going to take back your statement and you will step back.”
“And what on Earth makes you think that I will do it?”
“I told you before. Children make you do unimaginable things. How is your son Harris Khan?”
The color of Harris’ face drained. He got the hint. DIG grinned.
“Please don’t. He is just 5.”
Harris’ phone rang. It was Sara. Some people had kidnapped Harris’ son Mohammad. It was what Sara told on the phone. His release was associated with Harris taking his statement back to bring to halt the hype he had created in media.
Harris looked in the mirror at a liar’s face that lied to save his one and only son. He saw a wretched man whose love of life, his wife left him because she could not put his son’s life at stake. She told him that she could not take it anymore and it was better for them if he could just leave them alone. He found remedy in alcohol. At least it made him forget this tragedy.

Harris drove through the roads of Lahore rashly. Lost in the past, he wanted to forget each and every detail but was not able to. Abruptly a little girl around eight came in front of the car. Harris suddenly pulled the break. It was much in time to prevent the car hitting the girl.
“Thank God!”
Harris came out of the car and went to the girl.
“Kid what were you thinking coming right over the car. You could have got yourself killed. Where are your parents?”
The girl didn’t talk. She was rather shy.
Hassan bent to reach the girl’s height.
“Kid I am just trying to help you. Where do you live?”
The girl answered diffidently.
“At Madam’s”
“And where does your madam live?”
“In her home”
“Where is her home?”
“It is also my home.”
“Okay where do both of you live?”
The girl didn’t answer. Tears poured down her cheeks.
“Don’t cry kid I will take you home. Give me some hints like the color of gate.”
“Okay is there anything near it? Anything you can remember, some building, a restaurant or anything.”
“There is sea”
“Well that will help.”  Hassan smiled. “Do you mean the canal?”
“What’s a canal?” asked the girl.
“Never mind come let’s find your home.”
“Madam will be mad! She asked me never to go with strangers.”
“I am police.”
“Then its fine.”
Harris felt gloomy. How much trust these kids put in police and what do they get in return; injustice and lies, thought Harris.
“There you are naughty girl. Why did u leave without my permission?” A middle aged woman walked briskly towards the girl. “Zainab if you ever left without my permission, I will not be sober with you.”
“Sorry madam! The police was going to bring me home anyway.”
“SP Harris Khan! Remember me?” asked Ayesha
Harris recollected. It was five years ago. Ayesha was not the same happy confident looking lady as she seemed today. She was sitting in the police station, tears pouring down her cheeks.
“Ma’am we are very sorry. Here have some water.” Said SP Harris Khan
“Your husband was a brave man. He was martyred fighting the coward terrorist in that mosque. He didn’t give up. We salute him.”
“What... What….. Will I do without him?” Ayesha was sobbing. “I don’t have children I just had him and now….” Ayesha cried hard.
Harris was back on the road with the little girl standing on his side.
“Yes I remember Ma’am!” smiled Harris.
“It was indeed not in the best of circumstances though. I couldn’t thank you that day for your help. Come have tea with us. It will be an honor for our sweet home.”
Harris couldn’t refuse that widow.
“Okay” he answered.

Harris sat on the emerald sofa. He looked outside the window. He could see children of all ages playing in the ground. He spotted Zainab who was enjoying a ride on merry go round.
“So how did u find my sweet home Sir SP?” asked Ayesha
“It’s good. By the way I am not an SP anymore.”
“I know. It was all over the media few years back. Quite an issue it was. “
“Still you choose to call me SP”
“I found you a truthful and genuine person. How did they made you back off?”
“They had my son”
“Disgusting people! They are such cowards.”
“I am also a coward.”
“No sir you are not. Any person will have succumbed to the situation.”
“So now you live here?” asked Harris changing the subject.
“Yeah you can say that. I have got a job here.”
“What kind of job?”
“Well just spend some time with kids. Educate them, kind of like teacher.”
“She is being modest. She is the soul of this place. It was her idea in the first place.” said Samina who just entered the room with tea and snacks.
“She is Samina SP sahib. She helps me out with stuff.” told Ayesha.
Samina served tea and snacks to Harris and continued, “Ayesha here started the whole concept. She invested her every possession in these bricks.”
“You own this orphanage?” asked Harris.
“It is kind of like a home. You see these children,” Ayesha pointed towards the window, they are family.”
Harris was surprised to see the audacity of this woman.
“I must take leave of you. Have loads to do. Good to meet a cop.” said Samina.
Harris gave a nod and Samina left.
“Ma’am I must ask how did you do this all? How did u face the circumstances? Ma’am I’ve been through some tough times as well and God knows I am shattered. Life seems a charade”
Ayesha took a deep breath, looked outside the window, shifted her gaze to Harris and answered, “Life is not a bed of roses Mr. Harris Khan. As you live, it will wound you. The more you run away from the reality, the more complicated it will become. The more you scream, the more throbbing the pain becomes. Its better if you accept the reality, live it, tolerate it and find a proper focus.”
“But how can you… just forget?”
“No one can forget it. You just have to learn to live with it.”
“My whole life is a tragedy.”
“No one can have a perfect life SP. My friend Samina lost her only daughter to cancer. His husband unfortunately was not as supportive. She came here to help me. Everyone has to face tragedies in life.  Some people weaken and wish to die. Mine left me with a direction and here I am, helping these young children. Believe it or not it, it provides eternal peace.”
“The young girl Zainab you helped,” continued Ayesha, “her parents didn’t want her. As it turned out, she was their third daughter. They thought of her as a burden. It’s strange how the little girl, despite of being so beautiful and brilliant had to suffer abandonment from her parents.” Ayesha sighed.

One week had passed since Harris visited the sweet home and he just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Was Ayesha strong or was he weak? She handled her situation in a better way. What did he do? He found resort in alcohol! How embarrassing it was. At least his son and wife were alive and healthy. It should have been enough for him. Even that kid Zainab was a better crisis manager than him. He was lost in his thoughts when Ali entered.
“Miss me bro? You called”
Harris laughed.
“I just wanted to let you know that I am taking that job for private security company.” told Harris.
“You are what?? Are you serious?”
“Hell I am”
“What made you change your mind?”
“Just want to go on with life. I don’t want to give up. I’ll start small and I wish the day comes when I bring a positive change in the society”
“How do you intend to do it?”
“I couldn’t bring justice to Abdullah. I still regret that. You see law should protect itself. We shouldn’t be the ones protecting laws.”
“So you will make self protecting laws?”
“Can I not?”
“What? Will you join politics?” asked Ali in surprise.
“Once I feel I am ready, yes I will.”
Ali gave an approving pat to Harris.
“I am proud of you Harris.”
“Fancy tea?” asked Harris
“Sure I will!” answered Ali
“Thank you for always being there for me Ali.”
“No need to thank me. That’s what families are for.”
Both smiled as Harris started this new chapter of life.